Mets weekly blog is back…. This week’s blog is on position battles and projections. Below is a quick look at the position battles position by position for 2014:
First Base: It comes down to Ike and Duda for this spot. Satin is a nice bench player but that is all he will ever be. He has a knack for getting on base but over a 162 game season he is not the answer. Put him in vs. lefties and spell DW at 3rd and you have the makings of a pinch-hit threat and solid bench player. First up is Ike; with Ike you are getting the potential of a 30/90 guy, however he has only done this once in his career. Ike is making more money than Duda and probably has a leg up on him just because of that. Also event with Duda out performs Ike in the spring, sending Ike to AAA of bench will not help his trade value. Duda; Lucas is a better on base guy and has raw power, but has yet to consistently show it. Duda did show last year he can get on base and take walks, but that also was a criticism of his game. He needs to show this spring he can be aggressive, hit for power and still be an on base guy. VERDICT – Ike Davis wins the job based on potential and salary, he finishes 2014 with a line of .254/26/71
2nd Base: Unless Daniel Murphy gets hurt he will be playing 158 games a second base. VERDICT – .294/15/77
Short Stop: I am basing this on the fact Stephen Drew is not coming to the Mets. Let’s go into this with some optimism. I am thinking Ruben Tejada is going to bounce back this year knowing he has everything to lose a major league player. This is his year to step-up. With that I expect him to do so. He is not going to hit for power, but he is still deveopoing and could be a good doubles hitter. Look for him to take the bull by the horns and put up a year that will make you say Stephen Drew would not have been much better for 12 million dollars. As much as I want to write that Wilmer Flores will have a real shot at this position and take over for Ruben should he fail this spring, I believe the Mets are using Wilmer as a tatic to show Drew “they have options” VERDICT – Tejada will win job with a good spring. He will finish with a line of .271/2/33.
3rd Base: Once again this is no contest. DW will be your starter for 160 games unless injury happens. However DW has not played a full season in a while so expect Josh Satin or Wilmer Flores to have a bit of a run a run the position some point in 2014. VERDICT – .288/17/61
Catcher: With Travis getting a full spring training in and having the starting job from day one is only a positive. Outside of Flores and Lagares he is the only top rated prospect the Mets have. He is still highly rated even after a poor 100 AB showing late in 2013. He did not have a strong run of games played in the minors before being handed the job in September. Expect the full spring training to prepare him to be a catcher for the Mets for the next ten years. VERDICT – .279/14/58
OF: Chris Young is penciled into this spot, but prepare to see both Young and Lagares play a lot in his place. Young was a 7.5 million dollar gamble that could pay off. You will get strong defense from him but hitting may end up costing him his job and end up being “designated for assignment” before year’s end. Chris will get off to a hot start, hit a bad slump and not recover. With that the Mets will find a way to get at bats for both Young and Lagares in the outfield. Curtis Granderson was the Mets big offseason move. Curtis outside of 2013 has been a very durable player in his career. I expect this to once again be the case for Curtis and him play close to 150 + games in 2014 in left field with. Eric Young Jr. is a Terry Collins favorite and will win a starting job in left field. He will bring speed to the Mets that is needed, however will he get on base enough to use it and really be an everyday player. He is not a spring chicken and expecting him to blossom at his age into an everyday player just won’t happen. Juan Lagares should be penciled in as the starting center fielder and unless his hitting gets unbearable, allowed to grow in that position and at the plate in 2014. However I expect to see CY in center to start the season and Juan to be used as a late inning defensive replacement with spot starts to begin the year. After the CY experiment goes south, expect Juan to get back to being the everyday center fielder and see as many at bats as he did in 2013. VEDICT – Opening day OF will be Young Jr., Young and Granderson. EYjr; .253/3/19, CY .218/8/22, Granderson .259/27/72 and Lagares .266/6/29
Next week we will look at the pitchers, followed by the all important bench.
Thanks for reading.